Isaiah 23

1 The burden of Tyre. Howl, you ships of Tarshish! For it is laid waste, so that there is no house, no entering in. From the land of Kittim it is revealed to them. 2 Be still, you inhabitants of the coast, you whom the merchants of Sidon, that pass over the sea, have replenished. 3 On great waters, the seed of the Shihor, the harvest of the Nile, was her revenue. She was the market of nations. 4 Be ashamed, Sidon; for the sea has spoken, the stronghold of the sea, saying, “I have not travailed, nor given birth, neither have I nourished young men, nor brought up virgins.” 5 When the report comes to Egypt, they will be in anguish at the report of Tyre. 6 Pass over to Tarshish! Wail, you inhabitants of the coast! 7 Is this your joyous city, whose antiquity is of ancient days, whose feet carried her far away to travel? 8 Who has planned this against Tyre, the giver of crowns, whose merchants are princes, whose traffickers are the honorable of the earth? 9 The LORD of Armies has planned it, to stain the pride of all glory, to bring into contempt all the honorable of the earth. 10 Pass through your land like the Nile, daughter of Tarshish. There is no restraint any more. 11 He has stretched out his hand over the sea. He has shaken the kingdoms. The LORD has ordered the destruction of Canaan’s strongholds. 12 He said, “You shall rejoice no more, you oppressed virgin daughter of Sidon. Arise, pass over to Kittim. Even there you will have no rest.” 13 Behold, the land of the Chaldeans. This people was not. The Assyrians founded it for those who dwell in the wilderness. They set up their towers. They overthrew its palaces. They made it a ruin. 14 Howl, you ships of Tarshish, for your stronghold is laid waste! 15 It will come to pass in that day that Tyre will be forgotten seventy years, according to the days of one king. After the end of seventy years it will be to Tyre like in the song of the prostitute. 16 Take a harp; go about the city, you prostitute that has been forgotten. Make sweet melody. Sing many songs, that you may be remembered. 17 It will happen after the end of seventy years that the LORD will visit Tyre, and she shall return to her wages, and will play the prostitute with all the kingdoms of the world on the surface of the earth. 18 Her merchandise and her wages will be holiness to the LORD. It will not be treasured nor laid up; for her merchandise will be for those who dwell before the LORD, to eat sufficiently, and for durable clothing.

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Questions about today’s reading? See if Matthew Henry can help.
Matthew Henry’s Concise Commentary, 1706

Verses 1-14

Tyre was the mart of the nations. She was noted for mirth and diversions; and this made her loth to consider the warnings God gave by his servants. Her merchants were princes, and lived like princes. Tyre being destroyed and laid waste, the merchants should abandon her. Flee to shift for thine own safety; but those that are uneasy in one place, will be so in another; for when God’s judgments pursue sinners, they will overtake them. Whence shall all this trouble come? It is a destruction from the Almighty. God designed to convince men of the vanity and uncertainty of all earthly glory. Let the ruin of Tyre warn all places and persons to take heed of pride; for he who exalts himself shall be abased. God will do it, who has all power in his hand; but the Chaldeans shall be the instruments.

Verses 15-18

The desolations of Tyre were not to be for ever. The Lord will visit Tyre in mercy. But when set at liberty, she will use her old arts of temptation. The love of worldly wealth is spiritual idolatry; and covetousness is spiritual idolatry. This directs those that have wealth, to use it in the service of God. When we abide with God in our worldly callings, when we do all in our power to further the gospel, then our merchandise and hire are holiness to the Lord, if we look to his glory. Christians should carry on business as God’s servants, and use riches as his stewards.

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